Kahsar Wins Men’s Title, Broderick Leads Women
April 9, 2011 (Tuscaloosa, AL) – The University of Colorado defended its title at the 2011 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship Saturday. Over 1,200 athletes competed in hot and humid conditions next to the University of Alabama’s scenic campus, representing more than 120 institutions.
The Colorado effort was led by Karl “Rudy” Kahsar’s win in the men’s race. With three of the top six men’s finishers, CU also earned the men’s team title.
The University of Florida’s Kaitlin Shiver captured the women’s individual title, and the U.S. Naval Academy brought home the women’s team championship.
Led by three men among the race’s top six finishers and a fourth-place showing in the women’s race from Jessica Broderick—the 2009 women’s champion—Colorado combined for 83 points to take the overall crown. The U.S. Military Academy was second with 120, followed by Cal with 233 for third. The CU men totaled just 23 points to top the U.S. Military Academy (71) and Cal (99) in the men’s team event. The U.S. Naval Academy brought home the women’s championship with 46 points to beat out the U.S. Military Academy (49) and Colorado (60).
Kahsar Battles McLarty for Men’s Title
Kahsar, who posted four top-20 finishes at Collegiate Nationals as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, earned his first title in 1 hour, 57 minutes, 4 seconds as a graduate student in Boulder. He made a big move on the bike, posting a 40k time of 58:33, which was good for the day’s No. 2 split.
According to Colorado’s head coach, Mike Ricci, “The race was quite emotional. Rudy took the lead on the bike, and went for it on the run, knowing he had Dustin McLarty and two hard charging teammates behind him that were solid runners (Ryan Bice and Chris Braden).”
Eventual runner-up Dustin McLarty of UC Irvine crossed the finish line first after passing Kahsar in the final mile of the run, but had to settle for second place after he was assessed a 2-minute penalty for a position violation on the bike. McLarty finished in 1:58:17, while UCLA’s Brady O’Bryan, the top undergraduate finisher, rounded out the men’s podium in 1:59:02.
“I’ve been training for this race for four years … Every year I’m thinking about Collegiate Nationals, and I put so much into it this year,” said Kahsar. “This is the most emotional race I’ve ever done. It’s the hardest I’ve ever gone. I’ve never gone this hard in a race.”
A former All-America swimmer at Florida, McLarty broke free in the water with an 18:16 swim split and carried a 20-second lead onto the bike. That’s where Kahsar made his move to grab an advantage of nearly two minutes out of T2. “I know I had a good bike time,” Kahsar said. “I know when I passed him on the hill, I put a lot into it when I went by and didn’t look back.”
Kahsar carried that momentum onto the run early on, but McLarty closed with a 33:45 10k to break the tape before the penalty was added to his time, bumping him to second. “I raced as hard as I could, and I know (McLarty) did, too,” said Kahsar. “That’s the beauty of triathlon; everyone is just pushing it to the max, and how it turns out is how it turns out … It’s certainly been an emotional roller coaster for me today.”
Shiver Wins Again in Tuscaloosa
On the women’s side, Shiver crossed the line in 2:10:04 to earn her first collegiate title in the same city in which she won the overall age group national title in 2009. Richmond’s Julie Rechel was the runner-up in 2:13:47 to grab her second podium finish in the last three years, while the U.S. Military Academy’s Marcie Nordt took third in 2:14:28.
“I knew it was going to be a tough race. There were a lot of great competitors out there,” said Shiver, who said living and training in Florida helped prepare her for Saturday’s heat. “My philosophy was that I’m just going to swim hard, bike harder and finish with a strong run. It just happened to be my day today … I’m just thrilled.”
Cal’s Erika Erickson was the top women’s graduate student and placed fifth overall in 2:16:32.
Shiver was among the leaders from the start, as she was third out of T1 and carried a 30-second lead out on the run. By the time she broke the tape, Shiver had built an advantage of nearly four minutes over the field. Despite the lead, Shiver said there was no point that she let up on the run. “I thought it was going to come down to a sprint finish, honestly,” she said.
Colorado’s women put in a solid performance despite an unexpected setback. Bryn Morales, CU’s second seeded athlete, flatted on the first lap and rode the last 30K with a flat tire, finishing 50th.
“Fortunately,” remarked Ricci, “Jessica Broderick had her normal solid race and scored a fourth for us. Tess Amer moved up from thirteenth in 2010 to eighth in 2011, and one of our freshmen, Maggie Scanlan did exactly what we asked and raced her guts out to a thirtieth. The most important person for us was Caryn Maconi. She was our sixth seeded girl, but in the heat she biked and ran like I knew she could. She ran herself into twenty-ninth place, securing us third women’s team and the championship.”
Colorado’s Amer posted the third fasted bike split to bolster her performance. “I think everyone did a great job stepping up. I could not be more proud of our team,” said Amer.
Broderick emphasized that the lure of this race for her is all about the team element. “It was a very tough day but my teammates, and the thought of our team, got me to the finish line,” she said.
Overall, Ricci had nothing but praise for the team, “The team works hard and they care about each other. I don’t know that I can ask for more than that with any group of athletes. They love to push each other. They love to win and most importantly, in true Colorado Triathlon spirit, they love to have fun!”
Sprint Titles Also on the Line
The overall sprint titles went to top collegiate athlete Katherine Krazak (Mokena, Ill.), who covered the 750m swim, 20k bike and 10k run in 1:17:28, and alumni athlete Andrew Mueller (Champaign, Ill.), who posted a time of 1:06:02. Benjamin Drezek (Denton, Texas) was the men’s collegiate sprint winner in 1:07:50.
The event, presented by Saucony, will be televised on CBS Sports Network later this month. The men’s and women’s races will be shown April 29 in separate one-hour broadcasts, with the women’s race airing at 10 p.m. ET, followed by the men at 11 p.m. ET.
Overall Team Standings
1. Colorado, 83
2. U.S. Military Academy, 120
3. Cal, 233
4. Michigan State, 383
5. Texas A&M, 395
Men’s Team Standings
1. Colorado, 23
2. U.S. Military Academy, 71
3. Cal, 99
4. UCLA, 108
5. Michigan State, 139
Women’s Team Standings
1. U.S. Naval Academy, 46
2. U.S. Military Academy, 49
3. Colorado, 60
4. Cal Poly, 130
5. Cal, 134
1. Karl Kahsar 1:57:04 – Colorado
2. Dustin McLarty 1:58:17
3. Brady Obryan 1:59:02
4. Brad Perry 1:59:15
5. Chris Braden 1:59:20 – Colorado
6. Ryan Bice 1:59:23 – Colorado
7. James McCurdy 1:59:25
8. Jordan Bethke 2:00:25
9. Ben Hall 2:00:36
10. Colin Riley 2:00:41
1. Kaitlin Shiver 2:10:04
2. Julie Rechel 2:13:47
3. Marcie Nordt 2:14:28
4. Jessica Broderick 2:15:53 – Colorado
5. Erika Erickson 2:16:32
6. Hallie Blunck 2:17:28
7. Kathrine Warren 2:17:35
8. Tess Amer 2:20:24 – Colorado
9. Tracy Fridye 2:20:40
10. Samantha Fugate 2:20:47
1. Brady O’Bryan (UCLA), 1:59:02
2. Brad Perry (Wake Forest), 1:59:15
3. Chris Braden (Colorado), 1:59:20
1. Kaitlin Shiver (Florida), 2:10:04
2. Julie Rechel (Richmond), 2:13:47
3. Marcie Nordt (U.S. Military Academy), 2:14:28
1. Karl “Rudy” Kahsar (Colorado), 1:57:04
2. Dustin McLarty (UC Irvine), 1:58:17
3. James McCurdy (Auburn), 1:59:25
1. Erika Erickson (Cal), 2:16:32
2. Hallie Blunck (UAB), 2:17:28
3. Samantha Fugate (Michigan State), 2:20:47
Men’s Overall Sprint Champion: Andrew Mueller (Champaign, Ill.), 1:06:02
Men’s Collegiate Sprint Champion: Benjamin Drezek (Denton, Texas), 1:07:50
Men’s Alumni Sprint Champion: Andrew Mueller (Champaign, Ill.), 1:06:02
Men’s Open Sprint Champion: Gary Petmecky (Stone Mountain, Ga.), 1:13:20
Women’s Overall Sprint Champion: Katherine Krzak (Mokena, Ill.), 1:17:28
Women’s Collegiate Sprint Champion: Katherine Krzak (Mokena, Ill.), 1:17:28
Women’s Alumni Sprint Champion: Ashley Yeager (Durham, N.C.), 1:19:01
Women’s Open Sprint Champion: Katie Gilbert (Tuscaloosa, Ala.), 1:31:20
Team Spirit Award: Arizona State
Armed Services Champion: U.S. Military Academy
University of Colorado Triathlon Team History
2011: National Champions (Coach Mike Ricci)
2010: National Champions (Coach Mike Ricci)
2009: 3rd Place (Coach Mike Ricci)
2008: 2nd Place (Coach Kirk Nelson)
2007: 3rd place (Coach Kirk Nelson)
2006: 3rd Place (student coaches)
2005: National Champions (student coaches)
2004: National Champions (Coach Matt Eagan)
2003: National Champions (Coach Ryan Ignatz)
2002:National Champions (Coach Bettina Younge)
2001:2nd place (Coach Bettina Younge)
2000:National Champions (Coach Neal Henderson)
1999:National Champions (Coach Neal Henderson)
1998: National Champions (Coach Rick Ellison)
1997: National Champions (Coach Rick Ellison)
1996: National Champions (Coach Rick Ellison)
1995: 2nd place (Coach Rick Ellison)
1994: National Champions (student coaches)
2011: Karl “Rudy” Kahsar
2009: Jessica Broderick
2002: Sara Tarkington
2000: Beth Anderson
1999: Teri Duthie; Nick Cady
1993: Danelle Ballengee